Give Peace a Chance

Promise of Peace Garden resolves controversy by planting behind White Rock UMC

Promise of Peace Garden resolves location controversy

Potted plants at Promise of Peace Garden
The Promise of Peace Garden unveils its new home at White Rock United Methodist at 6 pm, July 15.  Promise of Peace Garden/Facebook
Fresh garden salad
Okra Palooza at The Lot raised $1,500 for the garden. Chef Graham Dodds beat out Chad Houser and Mark Wootten for top prize.  Promise of Peace Garden/Facebook
Grapes at Promise of Peace Garden
The garden attracted controversy after neighbors complained about its location near their houses. One neighbor even moved.  Promise of Peace Garden/Facebook
Apples at Promise of Peace Garden
There will be 20 lots at the new garden for people to cultivate.  Promise of Peace Garden/Facebook
Potted plants at Promise of Peace Garden
Fresh garden salad
Grapes at Promise of Peace Garden
Apples at Promise of Peace Garden

The journey hasn’t been as smooth as a ripe tomato, but the Promise of Peace Garden is set to unveil its new location at White Rock United Methodist Church with a ribbon cutting ceremony July 15. The ceremony begins at 6 pm, with bites from Graham Dodds of Central 214. Dodds won the garden’s Okra Palooza 2013 at The Lot last month.

Getting the garden off the ground has proven to be a greater ordeal than founder Elizabeth Dry initially anticipated. The plan was always to move to the White Rock UMC, but the garden was originally installed across the street from the church in a parking lot.

 “The whole situation has led us to a better place,” says founder Elizabeth Dry. “It’s just brought forth more love than even before.”

Locals weren't too keen on that plan. It was too close to houses for several neighbors’ liking, and they felt it would only bring more traffic, noise and wild animals to the area. One Little Forest Hills resident even sold her house.

But then a compromise was reached, and now the Promise of Peace Garden is set up in the back lot of the church. Dry says that for all the turmoil, the result has been better than she could imagine.

“The whole situation has led us to a better place,” Dry says. “There are so many more welcoming neighbors, and the space has a shade area. Plus we have direct access to our office as well as bathrooms nearby.”

There’s also a plan to add an outdoor learning space on the grounds, thanks to generous donors.

“It’s just brought forth more love than even before,” Dry says. “We didn’t respond to the negativity. It’s just crazy greatness and a wonderful future.”

Dry says the new space will allow the garden to reach more people, from those on public assistance to the ones who need food in an emergency. There will also be educational programs and cooking classes.

She says that she and the rest of the people involved with the garden have put the issue about the previous spot to rest, and they are focusing on building up the garden.

“It’s going to be about neighbors helping neighbors,” she says. “That’s what the kids want — neighborhoods where people help each other.”

Promise of Peace also plans to introduce a model to establish more urban gardens throughout Dallas, and it will be releasing a Kickstarter campaign to fund future gardens.

The July 15 ribbon cutting is open to the public and will be the first chance to sign up for lots in the garden for the fall 2013 season.

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